WASHINGTON (AP) - Despite Jordan Zimmermann's best efforts he's had troubles getting wins.
Zimmermann held the Arizona Diamondbacks scoreless on three hits through six innings Tuesday night, but Sean Burrough's two-run home run in the seventh gave Arizona a 2-0 victory.
It was the fourth time this season Zimmermann (8-11) pitched at least six innings and gave up two runs or less but still took a loss.
``It seems we just don't score for him,' teammate Jayson Werth said. ``It's too bad, too. He's pitched really good this year and his record is not showing what he's done.'
The start was likely the second-to-last of the season for Zimmermann. The right-hander is in his first full season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2009, and the Nationals have said he will be limited to about 160 innings this year. After going 6 1-3 against Arizona, Zimmermann has pitched 157 innings.
Arizona's Ian Kennedy (16-4) threw seven scoreless innings. He allowed six hits, struck out eight and had a single and a double. It was Kennedy's eighth win in his last nine starts, and ended a six-game Arizona losing streak.
As good as Kennedy was, Zimmermann equaled him until the seventh. After getting a groundout by Lyle Overbay to lead off the inning, Zimmermann gave up a walk to Chris Young before Burroughs' homer to right field. The home run was Burrough's first since April 30, 2005.
``Definitely frustrating,' Zimmermann said. ``It's happened a couple of times this year where it's just one pitch at the end of the game. It's a home run or a double or something and they get a couple of runs.'
After Burrough's homer, Kennedy doubled to end Zimmermann's day.
``He pitched a great ballgame,' Nationals manager Davey Johnson said. ``In the sixth inning he was still throwing hard, making it look easy. He shouldn't have been out there anyway (in the seventh). He probably tuned out because I was going to pinch-hit for him in the sixth and then we hit into a double play.'
Until Burrough's homer broke the scoreless tie, the Diamondbacks' best scoring chance came in the fourth inning. Gerardo Parra singled and Zimmermann hit Justin Upton with a pitch. The runners advanced on Miguel Montero's flyout. Ryan Roberts hit a sharp grounder and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman made a diving stop to throw out Roberts and save a run. Overbay flied out, ending the inning with the runners stranded.
It was the fifth time Upton has been hit in six games against the Nationals this season, and he reacted by angrily throwing his bat to the ground before walking to first base. Kennedy hit Michael Morse with a pitch in the bottom of the fourth, and home plate umpire Marvin Hudson warned both benches.
``Neither pitcher was purposely trying to hit them,' Johnson said. ``Upton covers the outside corner well. You throw a couple of pitches out there and you try to come in on him. Same with a couple of my hitters.'
Upton left in the middle of the fifth inning with a left elbow contusion and was replaced by Collin Cowgill.
Washington loaded the bases with one out in the fifth but did not get a run across. Ryan Zimmerman struck out looking on a curveball, and then Morse struck out to end the inning. During the at-bat Morse argued he was hit by a pitch, but Hudson ruled it hit his bat.
NOTES: The game was delayed 21 minutes because of the earthquake that hit the East Coast Tuesday afternoon. ... Arizona's team bus was about 45 minutes late arriving at the stadium after getting caught in earthquake-related traffic. ... Werth left the game for a defensive replacement in the ninth. After the game Werth said he had a mild hip flexor, although Johnson termed it a groin strain. ``We'll see if Davey wants me to play tomorrow,' Werth said. ... Johnson said RHP Steven Strasburg will make his next rehab start Saturday for Triple-A Syracuse. ... Washington introduced its top three draft picks - 3B Anthony Rendon, RHP Alex Meyer and OF Brian Goodwin - before the game. Rendon said he is completely recovered from a shoulder injury that hampered him at Rice this season. ... Nationals RHP Livan Hernandez (7-11) will start Wednesday against Arizona RHP Daniel Hudson (12-9).
The Associated Press News Service
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